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Adobe CEO says Flash apps coming to iPhone

With the release of the iPhone software development kit, Adobe Systems' Shantanu Narayen says the company can start to develop a Flash Player for the Apple phone.

Adobe Systems CEO Shantanu Narayen said the company intends to bring its Flash Player to Apple's iPhone.

During a conference call to announce Adobe's first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, Narayen said Adobe "will work with Apple" to make sure that Flash applications can run on the iPhone.

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen Adobe Systems

Seeking Alpha has a transcript of a conference call. Narayen's comment on the iPhone was in response to a question about getting Flash ported to other devices. (Microsoft announced earlier this week that it has licensed Flash Lite so that Flash applications can run on Windows Mobile devices.)

According to Seeking Alpha, here's what Narayen had to say:

Well, you really believe that Flash is synonymous with the Internet, and frankly, anybody who wants to browse the Web and experience the Web's glory really needs Flash support.

We were very excited about the announcement from Windows Mobile--adoption of Flash on their devices--and the fact that we've shipped 0.5 billion devices now, non-PC devices. So we are also committed to bringing the Flash experience to the iPhone, and we will work with Apple.

We've evaluated the SDK. We can now start to develop the Flash player ourselves, and we think it benefits our joint customers. So we want to work with Apple to bring that capability to the device.

Whether and how Flash applications would run on Apple's iPhone has been an open question since the device's launch. Narayen's comments indicate that Adobe will be able to create a version of Flash Lite for the iPhone by using the iPhone software developers kit (SDK) which was released earlier this month.

Adobe executives have made clear their desire to have Web applications written with Flash, which run on a range of the mobile phones, to make their way to the iPhone.

But Apple has thus far not allowed it, apparently over concerns that Flash applications run too slowly.

During Apple's shareholder meeting in March, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that full-blown Flash applications are "too slow to be useful" on the iPhone. He went on to say the mobile version of the Flash, called Flash Lite, is "not capable of being used with the Web."

Even after Jobs' comments about Flash and Flash Lite, Adobe touted the success of Flash Lite on other devices but still did not commit to bringing Flash applications to the iPhone.